When others are counting on you, take time to replenish your emotional strength

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I read a chapter of tips out of this book every few days or weeks, whenever I have time. It’s just a book with 365 short ideas, (usually a sentence or two,) about how to improve yourself and your actions to make more money. The tips also relate well to life and emotional intelligence in general, so I often find them inspiring in more ways that one.

Today the quote that got me thinking is:

Remember to regularly nurture yourself. You cannot sustain or increase your productivity without replenishing yourself. Otherwise, you will run on empty and your productivity will suffer.

This is good advice for business, but life in general–relationships, parenting, chores, hobbies, and more.

My last job was extremely demanding, but I had so many options to work overtime and make more money. Every time I was offered the opportunity to work extra, I took it. How could I turn down work that would double my normal paycheck? Pretty soon, I was working 50-80 hour weeks. I kept telling myself “I can do this,” and I was excited about the financial benefits, but I was burned out. I burned out so badly, I finally quit the job. If I had worked in moderation, I might not have had all the extra pay, but I wouldn’t have become unemployed, so I probably would have made more in the long run. I pushed myself so hard for months and never took a bit of time to nurture myself. Since I am a single mom, I came home from my long days of work and then devoted every thing I had to two little toddlers. There was absolutely nothing for me. And yet I felt selfish for even considering doing something for myself.

Specifically when it comes to parenting, many of us have been trained to believe that the kids are a 24/7 commitment and we are selfish to take a break from them. I’ve had people tell me this, and I’ve seen people berate others for wanting a break. That is not helpful at all. As women and mothers, we should not feel guilty for needing to replenish ourselves–physically, mentally and emotionally! Of course you don’t want to leave your children with a baby-sitter every day, but it is not wrong to take a break even for a few hours a week. In fact, it’s the best way to be a good mother. When we devote so much of our time to nurturing others, we need to recuperate a little to build up our own reserves so we can give some more.

What about sick or aging family members or marriages or friendships that need a little extra TLC? When we give everything we have to meet our obligations, we often wear ourselves down so that we aren’t really able to give our best any longer. It’s important not to let work or life take so much of you that you lose the energy and stamina to keep going. Take the time to rest and recover so you can go after your commitments, goals and life with renewed energy!

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